Black Friday Guide - checklist for store owners

"Black Friday" is a huge opportunity for a store to increase profits. However, launching a successful Black Friday sale can be quite stressful for many store owners as they prepare their businesses for the massive flow of customers and sales. This article will help you create a perfect-fit checklist for Black Friday to make your work easier and make this period not only profitable but also enjoyable for your business.

Black Friday Guide - checklist for store owners

We are sure you want to make the most out of this year's shopping event, no matter the challenges of 2023. It is vital for customers to create a detailed shopping list while you opt to do a checklist for your campaign. The checklist to get you prepared can go on many points. However, we have decided to present you with the essential ones.

1. Prepare Early

Customers are searching for information and starting to research the market earlier than you expect. Prepare holiday sales as soon as possible and provide your customers and visitors with information about upcoming discounts in advance. Not only do you need to start preparing early, but you also need to ensure that customers looking for gift ideas and information about individual products find you.

2. Plan and organize your sales

Plan your sales in advance rather than selling at the last minute. The idea is to create a "discount plan map," giving you a simple plan of all future sales. Select the products you want to launch and schedule their launch dates and discounted prices. That way, when the holiday sales are in full swing, you can refer to your plans instead of doing everything at the last minute.

3. Create emergency plans

Do you have an adequate contingency plan in case something goes wrong? What happens if your website is down? Or will the delivery company you work with become too busy? Can you immediately fix the errors on the site or restore it to work, even at 4 in the morning? Consider the worst-case scenarios for your business and make backup plans.

4. Test or make sure that your website can handle the increase in traffic (especially relevant for online stores)

Sometimes, too many simultaneous requests to your website can potentially cause your online store to crash. This is usually due to a massive amount of traffic. So, it's worth checking if your host can handle the increased traffic.

5. Make sure your online store can handle increased demand

If you rely on a supplier of your product or a product you or your team created, consider the option of increased demand that is possible during Black Friday. Work with your suppliers and make sure they are ready to handle your forecasted sales for the holiday season. One of the worst things that can happen during a sale is selling out faster than you want and not meeting the demand of your customers.

6. Plan advertising

You need to plan the marketing campaign you are going to launch. Just remember that rates can go up during the competitive holiday season, depending on your niche. This means that you may need to increase your bid price for certain keywords to increase your ad visibility during the big holiday sales.

7. Create an atmosphere of anticipation around an upcoming sale

Sure, it's possible just to announce a Black Friday sale, but creating an atmosphere of anticipation and "buzz" around it can really help you achieve more success. "Tease" your customers with emails about what's to come, announce upcoming sales on social media, and start stimulating your customers' curiosity. The sooner you start doing this, the more momentum you'll get during Black Friday when you finally announce discounts to your customers.

8. Think about mobile devices and purchases

Last year, IBM said that mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic for the first time. In addition, according to Custora, over 26% of orders previous Black Friday were made via mobile devices. This trend is expected to continue and possibly grow. This means that you, as a store owner, should adhere to the idea of ​​the mobility of your site.

Is your online store convenient in mobile mode? Is it easy and intuitive to shop in your store? Is the website mobile friendly? You should check how the online store looks on a mobile device.

9. Test your site and get feedback

What if you could read the thoughts of potential customers when they use your store for the first time? There may be points you have overlooked or areas of your online store that should be optimized, and a fresh look will help you correct these mistakes.

10. Start partnering with blogs

It can take weeks before a sponsorship or affiliate deal comes through. However, this doesn't mean that last-minute sponsorships or partnerships aren't possible, but it's always better to reach out to blogs and giveaway websites early. Find websites that are talking about Black Friday or running giveaways in your niche and contact them to display your website and planned discounts.

11. Start e-mail marketing campaigns

According to Custora, e-mail marketing accounted for more than 27% of last holiday sales for online retailers. This year, e-mail marketing will likely play an even bigger role in the success of most sales during the holiday season. Every business owner should have great email marketing campaigns that will drive customers back to their website during holiday sales.

12. Consider a "Door-buster" offer

A "door-buster" is a term that refers to an offer that is started early during business hours to attract a large number of customers to a business. A typical contractual "Door-buster" offer is an item or selection of things that are given a special discounted price for a limited time. The offer is so named after literal incidents where the doors were destroyed by the rush of people trying to get the goods before they ran out.

It's a strategy that many retailers use to launch sales of "awesome" popular items to lure shoppers into their stores. Customers will likely pick up a few more things on their way to checkout. What's an incredible offer that will drive people to your website? If you're sending an email to your subscribers, it's best to focus on promoting one item for sale that you think is the most attractive rather than promoting all of your Black Friday sales at once.

13. Reward Loyal Customers

Black Friday is a good time to build relationships with your previous customers and bring them back. Text your previous customers with the best offers. Give real fans and customers a chance to get early access to the sale. It's also possible to encourage email subscriptions by offering exclusive discounts that they wouldn't otherwise have access to.

14. Create a "scarcity." 

During the sale season, many discerning shoppers come looking for the best deals. Many expect a shortage of goods, during which it is possible to purchase a product at a reasonable price at the last moment, so do not hesitate to introduce this in your online store. Consider including countdown timers until the sale ends and using language on your website such as "limited time" or "limited quantities."

15. Make sure you have prompt and courteous responses

On Black Friday, you'll predictably get a lot of questions from customers. Part of providing good service is responding quickly. The other part is a polite and considerate response, even to rude and impatient customers. The only thing you can do is have some conservative responses prepared to save yourself some time. Also, update your customer service knowledge and share it with the customer service team. Be memorable and considerate this year, and customers will come back next year.

16. Offer easy, hassle-free returns

Black Friday sales aren't just stressful for business owners, and they're also a hectic time for shoppers. Be a store that cares and goes above and beyond to serve its customers. Make shopping a joy and guarantee your customers hassle-free returns. It will also mean that you are confident in your product and remove the risk from the customer.

17. Set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful, free traffic tracking tool that every eCommerce owner should use. 

18. Keep an eye on the competition

Paying attention to the competition will help you stay ahead and gather ideas for your own Black Friday deals. The easiest way to follow competitors is simply to subscribe to their newsletters. Study the types of messages they send and how often they send them.

It is also essential to analyze prices in the stores of competitors, which will help to form the best offers for consumers based on current data, thanks to which you will always be one step ahead of your competitors.

19. Turn Seasonal Buyers into Loyal Customers

Why should your relationship with seasonal buyers end after the holidays? Take some steps to keep in touch with new customers who came to you during Black Friday.

Keep your customers engaged throughout the year by staying active on social media and sending regular emails to your subscribers. If these seasonal buyers haven't subscribed to your email newsletter or aren't following your social media accounts, then retargeting may be the best option. Because you're setting up retargeting, seasonal buyers can be a group of customers that can be targeted year-round.

20. Understand what works and what doesn't

The holiday season is also a great time for businesses to learn from their mistakes, failures, and successes. You will learn lessons worth more than any amount of income you will earn during this period. That's why it's important to track everything and think about what works and what doesn't.

It is worth documenting everything, along with screenshots and notes, which can be viewed later. This will give you a guide for next year's sale and will also allow you to see what really works for your business.

Long story short

Preparation, planning, and an early start are the keys to successful Black Friday sales. This checklist should cover most of what you need to know for the upcoming sales this year. We hope this article helps you succeed this holiday season. If this is your first Black Friday for business, consider it a learning experience. Be ambitious, but don't set unrealistic expectations for your business.